A contribution to Aspen Academy's annual fund is the most important gift we ask of our community.
Our families, faculty, staff, and board of trustees contribute annually to this campaign: our goal is for 100% participation and for families to contribute $1,500 per family. Click here to Donate Now.
Joanna Weisel, 3rd Grade Language Arts Instructor shared this picture of how the Annual Fund supported the review and redesign of a new curriculum:
Last year the language arts department went through a full review and reevaluation of our curriculum. Thanks to the annual fund, we were able to purchase new curriculum to supplement our reading and writing workshop teaching. Teachers across the grade levels were also excited to order and receive new text sets to supplement some of our units that were lacking materials - especially nonfiction units. We were also able to purchase and implement a new middle school speech and debate curriculum that was piloted last year. Finally, nine of the lower school language arts teachers attended a week-long intensive word study training this summer. This will greatly improve our teaching of spelling and writing in the classroom and we are so excited to implement our learning and see the growth in our students. I now feel confident that the teachers in the language arts department (newly dubbed Communications & Literacy Studies) have a continuous scope and sequence that will provide alignment as well as all of the tools we need to do our very best teaching.
Our continuously improving curriculum leads to student success across subjects, including reading:
Corey Sampson, Middle School Director shared his story of how the Annual Fund supports professional development:
After leaving teaching to work in a non-profit focused on civic engagement, Corey Sampson missed the classroom and eventually returned to teaching. Throughout his teaching career, Sampson has enjoyed teaching in the United States and outside the US (France, Australia and South Korea). After returning from South Korea, he’s spent the past six years as a member of our community: first as a teacher and now as director of our Middle School.
Compared with prior school experiences, Corey applauds Aspen Academy’s community and administration for creating professional development opportunities demonstrate the school is committed to supporting faculty in their continuous learning. “Each individual teacher is able to seek out professional development that is relevant to them and not forced or told what to experience.” As part of his selection, Sampson used professional development support to complete his principal license -- which also enabled him to apply for his new role.
What has kept Corey fulfilled at Aspen Academy? "Aspen is young and not institutionalized...good ideas are given the freedom to grow. There’s a high level of accountability -- yet far greater flexibility when thinking of new and creative ways of doing something. I love that the values and mission of the school contribute to leaders who create leaders, not followers.”
At Aspen Academy, we are committed to retaining excellent, best-in-class teachers and equipping them with the ability to reach every child at that child’s level. We’re also eager to model for our children the importance of continuous learning and curiosity.
Jake Lovett, 5th & 6th Grade Instructor, Social Studies and Student Leadership & Entrepreneurship Coach earned a prestigious professional development opportunity to spend a portion of the summer at the New York Historical Society studying women of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Mr. Lovett learned from nationwide experts and presented on how Aspen Academy can bring more historical women into the social studies curriculum. Mr. Lovett left New York eager and very excited to share with students some important historical figures that have not been included in the traditional narrative.
"This Professional Development was truly inspirational. I never realized how many important people were left out of the traditional narrative of American history. Contributions to the Annual Fund gave me the opportunity to be able to attend this conference, grow as an educator, and put some important people in the spotlight for our students and the Aspen community." - Jake Lovett
Alena Valdez, scholarship recipient and Class of 2014 alumna shared with us:
“I had many amazing experiences at Aspen, and I realized that it has not only prepared me for high school but for the next couple of steps I would take in my life I continued to carry the ideals from Aspen and being kind has become a part of who I am. If it weren't for Aspen, I would have never known about Culver, or the Roberts scholarship, which was a full ride to the elite boarding school that I attended.
Aspen has prepared me in many ways that I still haven't realized.”
Alena is now attending Northeastern University as a Torch Scholar, a prestigious full scholarship program.
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